Second Defendant Arrested and Indicted in May 2011 “Nuns on the Run” Armed Robbery of TCF Bank Branch in Palos Heights
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 10, 2012|
CHICAGO—A second defendant in the May 2011 armed robbery of a TCF Bank branch in south suburban Palos Heights was arrested today by FBI agents after being indicted yesterday along with a previously charged co-defendant who was arrested a month after the robbery. The new defendant, Lyndon Germel Wesley, 28, of Markham, was taken into federal custody this morning without incident. Wesley and Navahcia Edwards, 25, of Chicago, are now each charged with conspiracy to commit bank robbery and bank robbery in a two-count superseding indictment returned yesterday by a federal grand jury and unsealed today after Wesley was arrested.
Wesley is scheduled to appear at 2:30 p.m. today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Mason in federal court. Edwards previously pleaded not guilty to the bank robbery and is scheduled to have a bench trial on Nov. 5 before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly.
Wesley’s arrest and the new indictment were announced by Gary S. Shapiro, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and William C. Monroe, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Palos Heights Police Department and the Cook County Sheriff’s Police assisted in the investigation. The charges against Wesley resulted from an ongoing investigation since the robbery occurred.
Two robbers, both brandishing handguns and wearing what have been described as “Nuns on the Run” costumes, held up the TCF Bank located at 6410 West 127th St., in Palos Heights on May 29, 2011. The robbers were dressed in nun habits and wore masks of elderly women. They forced two bank employees to open the vault and placed approximately $120,200 in bank funds into a small gym bag they had brought with them, and then they tied up both bank employees with zip ties before fleeing in a vehicle.
According to the indictment, Edwards was employed as a teller at the bank between July and November 2010. Approximately a month before the robbery, by April 25, 2011, Wesley opened a safe deposit box at the bank branch. Between April 25 and May 30, 2011, Edwards and Wesley allegedly conspired to rob the bank. The indictment seeks forfeiture of $120,200.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Zell.
Bank robbery carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison; conspiracy to commit bank robbery carries a maximum prison term of five years; and each count carries a maximum fine of $250,000. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains mere allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.